ACTS TRUST

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Interview: with Night Light Volunteers Martin and Kathryn

by Stacey Marriott – Night Light Crisis Café Coordinator

This week I caught up with two of the Night Light volunteers, Martin and Kathryn. Martin has previously been a guest at the Night Light Cafes and has recently applied and trained to become a ‘Peer Volunteer’. This role is for individuals who are no longer in crisis and want to become part of the Night Light community on a longer term basis, in a supporting capacity. Kathryn first applied to volunteer last summer and is now based with the Alive café at Newland on a Sunday evening having previously helped at the Bridge Central Café during lockdown 3. 

Can a Christian be depressed?

By Pam Jenkinson – Night Light Crisis Café Project Worker

I would want to start this blog with – of course – what a silly question! However, is it one? If someone has been set free because of the blood of Jesus, knows very clearly where they are heading, then surely there is no place for depression? Surely, Christians should be dancing and celebrating every day? What have they got to be depressed about or worry about anything? Don’t they believe the Bible when it says in John 8:36 – so if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed – there is no room for depression, anxiety or fear? Do they lack faith?

Yet …

How can being in a community benefit me?

By Lauren Johnson – Energize Activity Youth Worker

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Over the past year, communities across Lincoln, the nation, and the nations have come together like nothing I’ve ever seen before. From doorstop and garden visits in the freezing cold, for a ten-minute chat about the week, to making meals as an act of compassion to those who have lost loved ones. This year communities everywhere have stepped up their game to love each other. I find it inspiring.

A study by Rachel Frederick (a wellness expert) in 2018 found that there are five benefits to being connected to a community; they include:

  1. Encouragement – When life gets a little hard, we all need people who will remind us of our potential, pick us up and encourage us to keep going.
  2. Support – It’s important that we all have people around us who will stand with us through all of life’s turns and emotions. There’s a high chance that you have something with those you rub shoulders with but don’t connect with often. Perhaps those who pass in the street every day, see at the supermarket, the school gate or the office desk next to you. Reach out to them! Find your similarities and build relationships and support from them.
  3. Challenge – A good community will always challenge you to become a better person. Whether you need a fresh outlook on life, a new skill or hobby, or a support team to help you rise from a dark place. Sometimes we need tough love and raw honesty to show us that the biggest obstacle in life might just be ourselves.
  4. Celebrate – This one is so important! We have to champion each other, and also ourselves when we have worked hard towards something, achieved it, and are proud of it. Words of affirmation is said to be one of the most common ways people best receive love from others, so let’s love each other by celebrating each other.
  5. Gratitude – Perhaps the biggest benefit of a community is the opportunity for you to give back. The self-fulfillment you feel when you give more than you receive is priceless. A community gives you reasons to celebrate the small things in life and people to be thankful for. And we all know we can never have too much gratitude in our lives.

No matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, no matter if you’re a business owner or a stay-at-home parent, no matter if you live in a rural Lincoln village or off the high street, you’ll appreciate the benefits of a community (or two) in your life. Those like-minded people can be an amazing gift you didn’t even know you were missing.

What would it look like for us all to be in communities that benefitted our lives so much, that we had to tell others about it; resulting in them maybe joining too? I think it would look like people feeling more whole in themselves and knowing they can come exactly as they are knowing they’re unconditionally loved.

At Acts, we do everything in the community! We work to understand a communities needs, whilst working with those living in it to empower them to meet those needs. We do this through building relationships, empowerment, and encouragement which I think is pretty cool.

What kind of community could you join?

An interview with Charlotte

This week I went to the Bridge Community Hub to catch up with one of our amazing volunteers Charlotte. Charlotte first came to the Foodbank at the Bridge Community Hub as she was having an incredibly difficult time in her life. 10 months on Charlotte is now one of our Foodbank volunteers, she helps at the Bridge Community Hub twice a week and is an absolute asset to our team. 

Power to the People – How can we empower ourselves?

Stacey Marriott – Night Light Crisis Cafe Coordinator

I was recently offered a course of therapy sessions, and as a firm believer that such activity is beneficial to all, whether they are feeling the need for it or not, I jumped at the chance. Over the course of seven sessions, with the assistance of the therapist I identified areas of my life which were troublesome and in need of some work. I learnt strategies for managing these situations better and discovered so much about the inner workings of my mind. During the penultimate session the therapist asked me how I had found the activity, over all. A picture jumped into my head of myself and the therapist side by side on an archaeological dig, and I explained that I felt like she had provided me with tools and had taught me how to dig and would now be stepping away and I would be equipped to continue the work alone. This was a powerful image of empowerment and it has made me reflect on our role at the Night Light cafe

Interview: being a young volunteers and making a difference

by Luke Wallace, Energize Manager

I caught up with Lewis, a 16-year-old young volunteer at Energize, about how Energize has helped him and his experience volunteering with us.

When did you first get into contact with Energize?

When I was in year 9, I did some things that weren’t good. I got into trouble and started struggling at school. Luke from Energize started working with me as a mentor, and this gave me someone to talk to each week.

Saying Thank You in a Covid World

By B Lloyd

To quote Billy Joel, ‘the times they are a-changing’. 

It’s been a strange old year, full of highs and lows, new experiences and a sense of groundhog days. As restrictions begin to lift and the sun begins to shine, it feels like a good time to pause and take stock: to say thank you to those who’ve been our support, our bubbles, our lifelines during these past few months. 

(Of course, every day is a good day to take time to say thank you!) 

To help get your thanking juices flowing, we’ve come up with some ideas for you!

Is a Food Parcel enough to stop Food Poverty?

By Amy Colley, Lincoln Foodbank Coordinator.

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.”

Desmond Tutu

A catch up with a Night Light Café Volunteer

by Pam Jenkinson

Without our committed volunteers, the Night Light Cafes would not be able to function. We have a dedicated team, who want to make a difference to those who may be in crisis and have a desire to provide support and empathy to others.

I visited one of our cafes this week and caught up with one of our faithful volunteers Angela, who has been at the cafes for over six months now. I asked her what inspired her to give up her evenings to run the café and she said she didn’t like to see people struggling and felt this was a great way to help others and promote positive mental health.

How has Energize helped young people through the recent COVID pandemic?

By Lauren Johnson

Over the course of the pandemic, young people across Lincoln have connected in with Energize in various ways through schools work delivery, holiday schemes, sports, evening youth clubs, and trips.

How Can I support my Local Charity?

By Simon Hoare, CEO

There are three simple ways that you can support your local charity:

  1. Volunteering
  2. Donations of goods or money
  3. Spread the word about the work they do

MAKE A DONATION TO THE WORK OF ACTS

Your donation will support our projects and volunteers.

FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN HELP

Join our mission to Empower People to End Poverty!

EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO END POVERTY


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